Category Archives: teaching

What Makes You Beautiful Day 1 Wendi


Getting ready to start again

A new adventure!

I’m always amazed when I first get to a new country.  There are so many things to learn, look at, eat, and know.  Once I arrived, I knew I had found a place I could stay a while.

Along with a few ESL classes, I am the new Science teacher at an International School.  I’m spending my Winter Break creating science units and lessons for grades 3-8.  It’s So, So, SO much fun!   That is not sarcastic.  I’m really enjoying it.

My classes are truly international, with students from Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, Asia, and the Americas.  I’ve been welcomed in from the first day and have met many other expats as well.  What a fun place I’m living in!

Dancing on the weekends never disappoints!  And, I have a new puppy, Zoe.  Technically, she’s not mine, my bestie rescued her, but I get to claim her while I live here 🙂  Zoe’s about 7 months old and had been hit by a car when very young.  She’s got a funny little gait, but she keeps up on our walks.  Getting to know how to be a good doggie second mommy has had its ups and downs, but mostly ups!  Yeah for conquering fears a little more every day.

I’m grateful for a good job, in a good city, with good people.  It’s the season to show our love for humanity.  And so, I will also be doing some volunteer work at the local orphanage hospital.  Holding and comforting tiny newborns and infants sounds like a pretty sweet way to celebrate the Season well.  I will let you know how that goes, because I expect pure, exuberant awesomeness to come from those days.

I need to get back to planning for a semester of science, but I wanted to check in with everyone and say Hi!  Go be awesome.

Tell ’em Ms. McKahsum told you to!





The heartbreaking realities

The first month of any class is the toughest.  Creating routines, getting basic English words for keeping the class moving along as they learn new material, and learning English phonics.
It’s right around week 5 when I get to start seeing the little lightbulb moments as they recognize they’ve learned and can understand.

We’re just getting there in all my classes. This week I saw three little lightbulb moments. And this afternoon, as I was walking around the island, two little girls were walking down one of the side streets.  They were quiet and walking hand in hand.   They happened to look up and the one little girl , who is my student in the preschool class, opened her arms wide and ran to me,  teacher Mari!!  Without any hesitation she jumped in my arms and let me pick her up.
She gave me a beautiful hug and as I put her down, in her best new English she tried to introduce me to her friend and coached her in how to say, my name is…
The two girls and I parted with them smiling and happily laughing.
As I kept walking down the coast, I started hearing, teacher Mari, teacher Mari!  I looked up further and a small group of my elementary age students were gathered and called me over. I was so happily surprised with how well they were using English to explain the game they were playing and show me off to their friends.
My evening adult class is a newer class, only two weeks, but they finally understood the pattern I’ve been teaching them this week and three of them right away started using other words they know in the same pattern!
It’s these moments that I teach for. These moments when they realize they know, they try to share, and they take it farther on their own.

I LOVE teaching. I LOVE it.

And it breaks my heart, shatters it, to have to leave right now, just as it’s getting better for them.

Why does such terrible circumstances have to stop this progress?!  Who the fuck is this “nice guy” that everybody likes, that feels he has the right to keep me in a room against my will, and use ANY, let alone the amount of force, to make me listen to his drunken rants.  Who still maintains that if I had just sat and listened instead of trying to reach the door, he wouldn’t have hurt me so bad.

And as he’s all nice and calm again, admits he has a disease,
Well gosh! I should just let it all go, what’s the problem? , he’s going to get help.

Yeah. The fucking problem is that is a TRIED AND PROVEN PATTERN OF ABUSERS.
Diagnosing a disease doesn’t change the fact that abusers pick and choose, are in full awareness, and know how to look remorseful, and put on enough charm to get away with it.  They use time to make it feel like it wasn’t that bad. And they use their friendships to make it look like the victim is making too big of a deal out of it.

Tried and true classic pattern.

And the heartbreaking reality is that it doesn’t just affect me. The bruises are gone, I can almost put my backpack on, get dressed, or scratch my own back again without my shoulders hurting.  My wrists still hurt but you can’t see anything wrong. People don’t look at me and flinch, or ask how I am.  Time is passing.  But it’s a time bomb, and I know that.
A time bomb that I can’t be here to see go off.
The bomb may not go off here, if I leave. So in order to protect those that are helping me right now, I’m leaving here.
I can’t leave that bomb unchecked. I will pursue the trial and whatever else is necessary to put checks and balances in place to ensure I’ve done my part.
Abusers don’t stop. They don’t get talked out of being abusers by the people around them.

The charming person isn’t who they are, it’s their cover up and protection against consequences. The charming side makes sure people, “can’t believe it” could be something the abuser would do.

This was a thought out act of violence. And because of it, my students will suffer.  My work here will be paused for who knows how long. These children don’t know what happened, all THEY will know is that I left. The adults have just another person who comes to help and leaves.

The heartbreaking reality is that it’s not just me that got hurt. But it’s me that will be doing the hurting of leaving.
And that sucks so much.

These tears fall with conviction. If education is my target, let violence be my arrow, and awareness be my breath.


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I’m the happiest teacher right now! 
My elementary school class (1st day in week 4 of classes) greeted me with, good afternoon teacher, as I walked in the door.
They said the whole  ‘today is Tuesday’, sentence the first time I asked what day it is. They all answered, ‘how are you’ with a variety of replies in full sentences.

Then we went over who, where, and what. I read them the wonderful book my beautiful daughter gave me for mothers day, and asked them those questions.  After only,5-6 tries they were answering correctly!
I’m in teacher bliss right now….. Aaaaaaah


Teachin and Day Trippin

A little bit of my life here on Ilha. This is my local super market. You’ll notice the large array of items to choose from does not include any Mari safe chocolate…. I’m taking any forms of said safe chocolate at the address given previously. Preferred forms include dove and lindt, but I’ll take anything dark.


Last week the top of the branches were barely visible because of the flooding.

My three auditing students. They sit outside the classroom and repeat everything I say in class. Too cute.

Some local day to day meanderings.



I’ve always known I would be published someday haha, but I think I’ve taken self publishing to its extreme.

And now for some pics from my morning at the little island fort.










First classroom

First classroom

My first classroom. Teaching for a construction company means they’ll build as we go! Pretty 😎 cool .

imageLearning vocabulary

Learning vocabulary

Getting prepped and excited for starting my first full week next week!
My Address for any one wanting it, for the time being is…
Escondidinho, Ilha de Mozambique,
Province of Nampula, 25

I’m off to go make visual aids and manipulatives for my restaurant class.
Love to you all! Especially my kidittos!!!


Well folks, it’s official, A New Year is about to begin

A NEW YEAR. A new start. A new/ old type of job. A new country. A new continent.

I will be taking a short leave from teaching and doing some nice quiet paper pushing for the time being, in Mozambique, Africa.

I’ll be living on a small island off the mainland recuperating, and centering myself again.

I am always grateful for learning moments as well as teaching moments. Turkey has taught me. And as I needed to let go of this place, a new opportunity presented itself. Where one doors closes, another opens.

2014 was a year of discovery for sure.

I managed to visit Hong Kong (airport haha), Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, the US, Jamaica, Germany, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Greece this year!

I gained even more insight into myself, what I will take, what I won’t, what I can take and what I can’t.

I’ve opened up and drawn myself in, in an ever ebbing tide this year. And right now, I’m leaving the drawing in phase and heading into an opening up phase.

I wonder what 2015 will bring.


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Sunday Funday?

Or more like Done day…..     ‘Cause I got $#*t dun dun dun dun DONE!


You know that old old song….  Rawhide?

Wellllll that’s what’s playin in mah head right now!    Rollin rollin rollin, I’ma really rollin, got my plans a goin, Rawhide!

A couple more ppt slides and I’ve got the week done!


Sunday Done-day!


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-It’s never dull around here-

I’m not really sure why my Word won’t upload my blogs any more.  I have to write tonight’s directly on the site.   I got on here to check in and saw that last night’s post didn’t publish.

So I tried it again, and it just keeps saying it’s unable to.  Thank goodness for good ‘ol C&P!    I copied and pasted that sucker right in and now I can write tonight’s.

One thing my life never is – dull.

I am going to have to rescind my prior post about not being complicated.   I will have to say yes….   I guess I am.  Dang it.   Who likes admitting stuff like that?

Probably the uncomplicated people.


In the middle of a test, one of my poor little students just up and vomited all over the place.   Yup thoroughly undigested food bits and nastiness all over his desk, his papers, the desk next to him, all the stuff on the floor around him.

All the kids are jumping out of their chairs, three ran to the bathroom to go hurl themselves, from the sight and sound of this poor little guy.

Meanwhile he keeps on going.  A good solid two minutes of one regurgitation after another.

One kid runs to get the homeroom teacher.  She calls for the janitor, I’m trying to keep the other kids from walking in it, and all out of the classroom, while trying to comfort this poor kid.

I’ve got a couple students getting baby wipes and paper towels.  And the best part is the girl behind him, who he just yakked all over, is still in her desk laughing so hard I thought she’d gone mental.

Somehow she just thought the whole affair was the funniest thing she’d ever seen.  She had me starting to laugh.

Now, looking back at it, it was pretty damn funny; the whole scenario as  played out.

I’m trying to decide if I can do part of my workout tonight with my toe still throbbing and now my foot swollen, but, I think no.  I’m gonna give it a couple more days.

I made a banana cake Monday night and I managed to eat 3/4 of it already.  Thank the stars Wendi ate some or I would be saying I ate the whole thing by now.

But man oh man was it good with a little of my  homemade peanut/ sesame butter on it!    I couldn’t stop myself.



So glad it’s gone now!

I still have about 5 hours of work to do and one hour to do it in, so bye for now folks!



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Whoever invented heels should be shot

Whoever invented heels should be shot

Seriously, we need to invent a time machine and just take that guy out.

I have no facts to base my assumption on, but I am seriously serious when I think it must have been a guy that invented these stupid things and the idea that we girls can only look good – in them.

I hate them.

(Not really, just go with it for rant’s sake)

Let’s take the space your toes should take up, decrease it by 50%, make it pointy, squeeze your toes into that space like the Lotus Feet of the Chinese women, then increase the height of your heel so that all your weight is going into that tiny space.

Totally logical.


Walk bitches.

That’s right, stay upright, move gracefully, and walk like you mean it.  You own the place now that you’ve got your feet constricted, your center of balance off, and 1/4 cm of surface area to keep it together on.

Even better!   Run in them.  Oh yes, we look so good as we elegantly run after something while wearing the baubled, knotted, wrapped, spike heeled shoes of awesomeness!


He was a real bastard.

Best of all, if you’re going to wear them at school, while standing all day teaching young ones, feel free to get your feet stepped on by a running child while bound into these blasted things.

In case I didn’t mention it……  I got my toe broken today.

Heels can bite me.

And that dude, better be on his guard when I meet him in the afterlife!


But really I kind of like them, just not today.







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